MFA Thesis Exhibitions open April 4 in Eisentrager-Howard Gallery
MFA Thesis Exhibitions open April 4 in Eisentrager-Howard Gallery
calendar icon24 Mar 2016Lincoln, Neb.—Nine graduating Master of Fine Arts students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Department of Art and Art History will present their MFA Thesis Exhibitions in three exhibitions on display between April 4-22 in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall.
The first MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 4-8 and features the work of Joyce Bingeman, Patricia Davis and Meryl Engler. A reception will be held April 8 from 5-7 p.m.
The second MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 11-15 and features the work of Kendall Johnson, Qwist Joseph and Erin Schoenbeck. A reception will be held April 15 from 5-7 p.m.
The third MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 18-22 and features the work of Amanda Breitbach, Keith Graham and Shalya Marsh. A reception will be held April 22 from 5-7 p.m.
Bingeman’s exhibition is titled “Insight: An Invitation.” Originally from Rhode Island, Bingeman received her B.A. in studio arts from Houghton College in western New York. She has been a studio intern at the Women’s Studio Workshop and an artist in residence at The Center at Eagle Hill. She is a printmaker interested in social practice and art that involves interaction. In her artist statement, she writes, “A few years ago, my mother spent her evenings painting a sketchbook titled ‘Insight’ for me. In an act of generosity, laboring with cheap paints, she would flip a page, paint and wait for it to dry. My works on paper incorporate elements from her actions including screen printed text, painting of the text and text on the back. At my installation, the viewer is ushered into a sanctum space through an aesthetically changed vestibule and offered an invitation: to sit on a bench in exchange for one of the pages on the wall. The exchange is a form of generosity and a chance to participate in an event guided by intuition or insight.”
Davis’ exhibition is titled “Don’t Worry.” She is originally from Plash Island, a tiny fishing village nestled on Oyster Bay, near Gulf Shores, Alabama. She received her B.F.A. in printmaking and sculpture from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She works in a variety of media including drawing, printmaking, painting, artist’s books and sculpture. In her exhibition, Davis creates an experience that is seductive and unsettling. These mixed media works on paper focus on fears of the known and unknown that surround the physical and psychological experiences of being in a body. Looking closely is the key. At casual glance, these works on paper are simple and direct. But like entering a darkened room, the eyes need to adjust and re-adjust on each work. Then one notices the surfaces that are rich in nuance are simultaneously visual and physical.
Engler’s exhibition is titled “Ripple, Surge, Release.” Engler grew up on the beaches in Southern California in Huntington Beach and has always felt a strong connection to the ocean. She received a B.F.A. in sculpture with a double major in religion and a minor in history at Syracuse University. She draws upon her studies in religious theory and history in her abstract work by focusing on certain states of mind and almost ritualistic movements. She was also on the Syracuse Women’s Rowing team. The movement, energy and physical exertion of athletics is also vital in her work. She has exhibited across the U.S. and participated in the Student International Print Show in El Menia, Egypt. In her artist statement, she writes, “The twisting lines and giant brush strokes are pure energy, the most direct implementation of my gesture. The work evolves in stages of action; my action of painting the stroke, then solidifying the energy through carving, cutting, and printing, giving the stroke a concrete form that is the residue of energy that first created it.”
Johnson’s exhibition is titled “Until It Doesn’t.” He grew up on a farm in Haven, Kansas. He went to Kansas State University, where he received his B.F.A. in printmaking. His work has been exhibited in Des Moines, Iowa; Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska; Ontario, Canada; and Minya, Egypt. In his artist statement, he writes, “My experiences fuel an exploration of self and identity. I often feel pitted against myself. There are two parts of me: my physical exterior body and an abstract emotional interior. Both struggle, taking it out on each other, fighting. The struggle to find the balance can be destructive. I have not been kind. . . . I am a trembling body becoming steady.”
Joseph’s exhibition is titled “When the Wind Stops.” He was born and raised in the foothills of Fort Collins, Colorado. After many years of working and learning alongside his Dad at the family foundry, he received his B.F.A. in pottery from Colorado State University and ventured to the nearby town of Loveland, where he and his partner opened a hybrid studio gallery space. After three years of individual studio practice and multiple artist assistantships, they moved to Lincoln. In his artist statement, he writes, “The sculpture I create exemplifies my interest in objects, their creation and our tendency to covet them. Humans have developed elaborate and diverse systems to categorize and dictate the value of things. As a culture we elevate and protect art, and its display is a platform in which this object obsession is exaggerated. Through the podium of art exhibition, I explore the idea of object-ness.”
Schoenbeck’s exhibition is titled “Maybe the Gate Could Be a Fan.” She was born in Lincoln and grew up in the town of Cortland, Nebraska. She received her B.F.A. from Northwest Missouri State. At UNL, she is enrolled in the painting and drawing program, but works across disciplines. In her artist statement, she writes, “My artwork is a means of coping with the complexity of everyday life. To touch and arrange objects is an attempt to find relief from tension felt daily from a constant stream of information, visual and otherwise. Each assemblage or grouping of different textures, colors and forms can be understood as a talisman. The objects are chosen intuitively or by their formal qualities and then become meaningful with deliberate placement or repetition.”
Breitbach’s exhibition is titled “Land/People.” She attended Montana State University, graduating in 2004 with degrees in photography and French. Prior to attending graduate school, she was a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in West Africa and worked as a newspaper photographer and reporter. She is a graduate fellow at the Center for Great Plains Studies and won a national scholarship in 2014 to become a fellow with the Joy of Giving Something Foundation/Imagining America. Her photographs, video, and audio work focus on the connections between people and land. Growing up on a family farm and ranch in the wide-open landscape of eastern Montana fundamentally shaped the way she sees the world. The framing and interpretation of the view in each of her images was formed by her background, including a deep love and respect for land and the people who work it, as well as a critical interest in the representation and mythology of the American West. “Land/People” is a series that represent the artist's own relationship to the land where the third generation of her family still farms, but may not much longer. The photographs are intended to critically examine the history and future of family farming. Breitbach will give an artist lecture on Monday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the Center for Great Plains Studies, 1155 Q st.
Graham’s exhibition is titled “Zero Street.” He was born in Bend, Oregon, and grew up in Seattle. He received a B.A. in studio art from Carleton College. His past includes work as an English teacher in Japanese cram schools, a bike messenger in New York City and building straw bale homes in rural Washington state. In recent years, his work has been exhibited in Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Egypt and Italy. The title of his exhibition comes from a line in Allen Ginsberg’s poem, “Wichita Vortex Sutra,” referring to Lincoln’s O St. In his artist statement, he writes, “Zero Street is a reflection on my immediate surroundings filtered through print processes and my attraction to the abject. The project takes the form of books and mixed media prints (mainly silkscreen with monotype and woodcut) responding to the physical environment of Lincoln, its people and how they shape each other. It is a highly subjective portrait of Lincoln, Nebraska, that started with a series of questions: What is the relationship between a large population center and the idea of emptiness that haunts the Great Plains? Can a city be empty? What are the elemental forces acting upon this environment? What beauty can be found in places that have been made deliberately ugly?”
Marsh’s exhibition is titled “Tangled Knot Tied.” Marsh is originally from upstate New York. She received her B.F.A. in ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Between undergraduate and graduate school, she exhibited, taught in the community, participated in residencies and worked in the nonprofit sector. In her artist statement, she writes, “My current series of work began with an investigation of knots as symbols for connection, apprehension, security and strength. Knots are used to bind and fasten; they are protective in the way they relate to these functions and others. The controlled tangles in this body of work lose the specificity of a recognizable form and suggest disorder or angst, rather than stability or strength. These formal studies relate to readability, veiling and transparency and indicate the complexity of the relationship we as individuals have with anxiety, communication and connectedness.”
Gallery hours for the MFA Thesis Exhibitions are Monday-Friday, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public.
The Eisentrager-Howard Gallery is located on the first floor of Richards Hall at Stadium Drive and T sts on the UNL city campus. For more information, contact the Department of Art and Art History at (402) 472-5522.